Fine museums in Nice
While I adore the outdoor beauty everyone craves for about Nice, I simply have to visit the two fine museums in Nice, one on Chagall and one on Matisse. So fascinating and rewarding visits for me. (see my 2 travelogs for these wonderful museum visits)
Le FORT du MONT ALBAN
Built on a hill 222 m high, this massive 16th century fortress boasts bastions, watchtowers and exceptional panoramic views stretching from Italy (Bordighera headland), Cap d’Ail, St-Jean Cap Ferrat, and the Baie des Anges, to the Garoupe Beach on the Cap d'Antibes… Fantastic place for taking panoramic pictures of Villefranche-sur-mer and St-Jean Cap-Ferrat.
order free guide books in advance
At the Nice Tourist Board website, you can request maps and various guides about Nice that will be sent to your home address so that you can plan out your trip in advance and therefore save a bit of time.
The various brochures are slim and light-weight and easier to carry than a guide book. There are guides to restaurants, museums, places to stay and an excellent 'Practical Guide' brochure and a good map. The web reference won't take you straight to the on-line order from so you will have to hunt on their website to find the correct page.
The pathway is:-
'Practical Guide' >>
Contact us >>
You can of course just pop in to any of the Tourist Offices when you get to Nice but you must ask for the specific brochures as they are kept hidden behind the counters and are not automatically offered! If you order on line in advance, they usually come very quickly, say within a week - although, I should play safe and allow a couple of weeks.
People are simply dying to get in here
Close to the Chateau are the Nice Cimitieres - one Jewish, one Protestant and one Catholic, though it's never been clear to me why the dead can't just get a long better and need their own separate plots. High above the city and commanding fine views you will find the curious grandeur of the baroque mausoleums and monuments of the illustrious old families of Nice.
As is customary in France, the history of the city is written in its streets named after its most prominent citizens, and you will find their tombs up here - Malusenna, Pastorelli, Gambetta, Garribaldi, as well as that of Jellinek-Mercedes, founder of Daimler Benz. (I know what youre thinking and his mausoleum is not in the shape of a car. This is not Beverley Hills)
As a general rule, the more powerful and wealthy, the higher and more grand the monument. You will also discover the Italian links from Nice's past from the names carved here. Most notably absent are the Medecin clan - Alexandre, Jaques and Jean, the latter two former mayors of Nice, and the origin of the name of the main street av Jean Medecin. Perhaps due to the reputation for dodgy dealings, they are buried elsewhere, in a little churchyard high above Nice at Gairault.
for the cheapest lunch/picnic on the run in Nice
Buy your lunch here for just 2 euros...
Monoprix is a top quality supermarket in France and there is a small 2-floor store at Place Garibaldi at the back of Old Nice. In a separate building across a small road and next door to the main shop, is the Monoprix bakery and Boulangerie. It is one of the best bakers and patisseries I have found near my studio by the Port. It wins no prizes for window displays, there are none, but trust me, go in and try some bread, pastries and sandwiches. My daughter is addicted to the pain au chocolat maxis (twice the length of a regular) for 1,15 euros. I love the choice of different breads available, many variations of grains, textures and toppings. It is all top quality and baked in-house. My top tip for this bakery is lunch actually. All around Nice particularly in the old town there are many little sandwich bars, some with a table or two outside, that offer a 'formule' for lunch. This usually comprises a sandwich and a drink. The price is usually around the 5 euros mark. Monoprix bakery offers a superb value lunch formule. A large 'jambon au beurre' that's a ham baguette, plus a half-litre of cold bottled water (or a tin of coke) PLUS a beignet - that's a doughnut or you can have a piece of brioche-y -looking cake with dried fruit instead of the doughnut. There's no choice of sandwich, it's always ham, but you can choose from chocolate, raspberry or apple filling for your doughnut. A bit of fresh fruit from the market wouldn't hurt either. It's really handy for a picnic, comes in a carrier bag with a paper napkin, great for the beach or park and you can use the money you save on real shopping or a fancy restaurant later. This lunch, a ham baguette, drink and a doughnut is just 2 euros. The sandwiches are freshly prepared on the premises for 10:30 am and sell out quickly. There are other formule options available at more cost, but I think this one offers the most outstanding value.